Armoire by Andre-Charles Boulle (1642-1732), late 17th century.
Ebony, bronze; inlaid with various woods, tortoiseshell, copper, and tin.
This armoire is considered a masterpiece of the Hermitage collection. Inlays of tortoiseshell and metal, the technique which was to become known as boulle work, set off panels of exquisitely executed floral marquetry. Made after a drawing, by Boulle himself, which is now in the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.
Louis XIV chinoiserie boulle work cabinet on a later stand, late 17th century-early 18th century formerly owned by Coco Chanel.
Sotheby’s New York - November, 2005.
A 19th century French boulle work side cabinet, hipped rectangular veined marble top above a deep frieze and a rectangular cupboard door centred by raised oval panel, typically decorated overall in brass and tortoiseshell marquetry with scrolling foliage, urns and strap work, applied with female masks, scrolls and floral bosses, shaped base, c.1840.
Late 19th century boulle work ebonised cabinet with gilt mounts.
Undoubtedly, examples like this are the Madame Bouvary of antiques - desperate to escape the banalities and emptiness of provincial life. Yet, not without a certain charm.
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